The Cabinet last Thursday approved a policy on a local content and participation in the country’s downstream petroleum industry, the Minister of Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has announced.
He explained that the policy was intended to ensure a Ghanaian-driven and ownership of petroleum downstream industry, capable of attracting increased local value-added investments and enhanced job opportunities.
At a press briefing in Accra yesterday, Mr. Nkrumah said the policy would also boost indigenous knowledge, expertise and technology in the industry for the overall benefit of Ghanaians.
“The new policy framework covers areas such as trading, shipping and bulk distribution of petroleum products, as well as infrastructural development in the petroleum sector such as construction of port discharge facilities, processing and petrochemical plants.
“It also covers the supply of petroleum to strategic sectors of the economy, as well as general procurement of goods and services for the downstream industry,” he stated.
Mr. Nkrumah noted that though there had been a significant progress in the role and participation of Ghanaians in some of the downstream activities, the government believed there was still more space for Ghanaian participation in the sector.
That, he said, would ensure the retention of profits and hard currency, development of skills and expertise as well as increase the creation of jobs locally.
He indicated that a petroleum downstream Ghanaian content committee would be established under the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to supervise, coordinate, administer, monitor and manage the development of local content in the downstream industry.
“The government believes efforts such as these will assist in strengthening the Ghanaian economy as well as ensure that Ghanaian capital is bolstered,” he said.
Mr. Nkrumah also stated that the European Union (EU) had granted Ghana 40 million euros to promote investments and job creation in the country.
The funding, he said, followed an agreement the government signed with the European Union recently.
He said the financing agreement, spanning 2014 to 2020, was the last programme to be signed from Ghana’s indicative allocation of 323 million euros under the 11th European Development Fund and the National Indicative Programme.
The programme focused, among others, on creating an enabling business environment for both local and foreign investments, he said.
“It will also strengthen public financial governance and boost domestic revenue mobilisation as well as boost the capacity of anti-corruption bodies to fight against corruption,” he stated.
“The Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, and the EU Ambassador to Ghana, Ms. Diana Acconcia, signed the agreement which is expected to promote the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Ghana,” he stated.
Mr Nkrumah added that, “The funds will be managed by the government and the programme is aligned with President Akufo-Addo’s vision of Ghana Beyond Aid,” he added.
Source: Graphic Online